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a combining form meaning “varix,” “varicose vein,” used in the formation of compound words: varicocele.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
Also especially before a vowel, varic-.

Origin of varico-

<Latin varic- (stem of varix) + -o-. See varix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does varico- mean?

Varico– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “varix” or “varicose vein.” Varix, also called varicosity, is “a permanent abnormal dilation and lengthening of a vein.” These swollen veins are known as varicose veins. Varicose means “abnormally or unusually enlarged or swollen.” The form varico– is occasionally used in medical terms, especially in pathology.

Varico– ultimately comes from Latin varix, meaning “varix” or “varicose vein.” A close Greek translation of varix is phléps, simply meaning “vein,” which is the source of the combining form phlebo. Learn more by reading our Words That Use article on phlebo-.

What are variants of varico-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, varico– becomes varic-, as in varicoid.

Examples of varico-

One example of a medical term that features the form varico– is varicotomy, “surgical removal of a varicose vein.”

The varico– part of the word means “varix” or “varicose vein,” as we know. The tomy part of the word means “cutting, incision,” from the Greek –tomia. Varicotomy literally translates to “varix incision.”

What are some words that use the combining form varico– or varic-?

What are some other forms that varico– may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that begins with the exact letters varico– or varic-, such as varicolored, is necessarily using the combining form varico– to denote “varicose vein.” Learn why varicolored means “motley” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The suffix osis is used to denote disorders or abnormal states. With this in mind, what is the medical condition varicosis?

British Dictionary definitions for varico-


before a vowel varic-

combining form
indicating a varix or varicose veinsvaricotomy

Word Origin for varico-

from Latin varix, varic- distended vein
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for varico-


Varix; varicose:varicocele.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.